You have a software product idea and you’ve decided it’s time to make it happen.
Before you start developing, make sure you are choosing the right app type. Depending on the nature of your product, the core and goal of your business, it’s important to choose the type of app that will adapt smoothly with your users and leverage your product.
There are three types of apps:
Before starting your product’s app, make sure you understand the differences and similarities between the three so you choose the right one for your business.
1. Native App
Native apps are developed for a specific operating system: iOS, Android, Windows phone, etc. Their particularity is that they can only function in their “native” platform. They are designed specifically to function on that system or device only.
Examples of Native Apps:
- Pokemon Go
It’s important to be aware that building a Native App could require a bigger investment and could take longer to build. Since each platform has its own requirements, you’ll need a team who knows the different codebases.
Since it’s designed to meet the specific requirements each platform dictates, you can always expect the product to deliver on high performance and have a high quality user experience. It takes full advantage of the technology available in the hardware and the software to deliver a first-class experience.
You should go for Native Apps if you expect:
- Speed, since is built for a specific system and device their performance is faster and smoother.
- Access to work offline, no need to internet connection (of course it may vary, depending on the characteristics of your product requires).
- An excellent UX/UI.
2. Web App
Some examples include:
- Google Apps (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.)
They require minimum device memory since all data is saved on a server. Regarding UX, all users have the same version (since web does not require different systems such as Android vs. iOS). So long as long the internet connection is good, the experience should be smooth and satisfactory.
Having a web application can give a business the ability to streamline their operations, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Developing a web app is the lowest cost between the three types and it’s easier because it requires a single code base. Is important to keep in mind that this type of app can only be used in a browser, so depending on your users and the goals of your product, it could be a benefit or a restriction to your business.
You should go for Web App if you expect:
- Cross platform compatibility between devices and operating systems.
- Easy manageability, they need minimal requirements to be installed, so maintaining and updating it is much simpler than the other types of apps.
- Reduced costs, because of the low support and maintenance needed the costs are lower.
3. Hybrid App
A hybrid app combines the elements of a native app and a web app. They require less time to develop and are lower cost than native apps and are relatively easy to make. What identifies them is that they are mainly a website that has been put into a native app shell.
Good examples are:
They function properly in the app and on the web. UX may vary from one device to another and the browser that is used to run the app could affect the way some elements are displayed. A great advantage is that they can work online and offline, depending of course on the nature of the product.
You should go for Hybrid App if you expect:
- An enhanced UI/UX in a short time, they are easier and faster to develop than a Native app, and still they deliver a quality and consistent user experience across devices.
- High-speed performance, comparing with Web apps, Hybrids are faster.
- Hassle-free integration with other apps.
What type of app is best for your business?
You don’t have to choose one app type over another. You could have a combination of two or start with one and eventually develop to the other. You can even decide to launch all three of them. It all depends on your budget, your timing, and of course, the nature of your product. Each has pros and cons; take the time to analyze each one of them and decide with your team which one adapts best to your business goals and expectations.
Having an app adds an immense value for your users and of course to your product and business. Not only can you expect to deliver a more personalized experience, but having one (any type of app that fits best your operations) helps you keep in touch and have a constant communication with your users.
It’s a direct channel to communicate with your customers and learn first hand what they need, want, and how they behave within your app. It will provide an efficient way for your business to collect, analyse and leverage data, allowing you to improve your product and connect effectively with them.
If you need personalized help, or want to know more about which app works best for your product, you can talk to us. We’ve helped several companies ship their software products and power up their business through UX Solutions.
Feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org